Shabnam the first women after Independence of India, who have got death penalty as punishment. We have seen women as house maker , working with men equally in each and every field and imagining that she can be so dangerous to the society too is little confusing for us.

IN 2018 , ON 14 April , Shabnam belonging to the Saifi Muslim community lived in Bawankhedi , Uttar Pradesh . There were 8 family members – mentioned below
Father – Shaukat Ali
Mother – Hashmi
Elder Brother- Anees; Anees’s wife – Anjum
Younger Brother – Rashid
Cousin – Rabia and Arsh and Anees’s 10 month old son
Shabnam was only single girl child of the family who was 25 year old at that time.
Shabnam father was a school teacher and she was herself double M.A Student who used to teach Primary school kids.
Shabnam was in relation with Salim who was just 8th pass, and used to work as daily wages worker for livelihood.
During this relationship Shabnam got Pregnant and she talked to her family about the marriage, but family members were against this marriage as there was huge difference between the families’ i.e. economic and social differences along with educated and uneducated.
After this Shabnam and her boyfriend planned a murder conspiracy and on 14 of April, 2008 after her family had dinner, she gave sleeping pills to the family through food.
When family fall asleep she called her boyfriend Salim and killed all the family member with the help of axe she chopped their heads and she even did not leave her 10 month old boy who was her brother son and throttled him.
After murder Salim ran away and Shabnam decided to stay and on next day she claimed that any criminal killed her family. Within the 7 days of the investigation police were clear that Shabnam and Salim killed the family. And evidence were collected and they were send behind the bar.
During that year Shabnam gave birth to the boy child in jail,

IN 2010 AMROHA SESSION COURT gave decision and gave them the Death penalty.
Which was confirmed by ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT and same was approved by SUPREME COURT , IN 2015 .

In year 2015, Shabnam filed for mercy petition to governor of Uttar Pradesh, Ram Naik, which she had sought on the ground of her responsibilities towards her son, this mercy petition was rejected.

In 2016, she filed the mercy petition to President Pranab Mukherjee that too got rejected.
On January 2020, Supreme Court bench which was head by S.A BOBDE kept the death sentence to be continued in this case.

Let us talk about Death PENALTY – in case if someone is punished with this what are the alternative left with him.

In Trial Court if Death Penalty is given then it can be challenged in the High Court and if HC continue with this punishment then
There we will talk about the Article 137 of the Constitution which talk about the review petition.
In Supreme Court Review Petition is filed within 30 days after giving judgment.

When we can file for the review petition –
If we find any new evidence or there is mistake in earlier judgment and if review petition get rejected then we opt for the Curative Petition – in this petition if the find some substance or merit then again this case is send to the bench of justice who allowed the death penalty, if it get rejected too, than we file for MERCY Petition.

Mercy Petition Power

With President within Article 72 of Indian Constitution
With Governor within Article 161 of Indian Constitution
By using this power both the members can reduce the type of punishment into less harsh one and they can pardon the culprit (which means to set him free like a normal citizen).

So we can say that when a women commit a crime like Shabnam did it become very difficult for judges to separate the essence of the crime but it is also the fact that in India judiciary system is not soften towards any criminal .

Monisha Acharya

An aspiring lawyer in process.

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